The purpose of this blog is to go over the very basics of the critical entities within the Sales module of Dynamics 365. The intended audience includes individuals who are brand new to Dynamics 365. Specifically, I will be covering the Account, Contact, Leads, and Opportunities. As many of you know, there is much more out of the box functionality beyond these entities that you can take advantage of, however these entities are the main pillars upon which the Sales module lies.
Think of Accounts as the companies or vendors that you work with. This is the top-level record which you can use to track numerous pieces of valuable information for existing customers such as:
- Key information about the company itself, such as the given company’s name, location, website and size
- Company hierarchies (Parent and sub-accounts)
- The individuals that work at the given company (Contacts)
- Recent Sales Opportunities
- Recent Service Cases (if you also have Dynamics 365 for Service)
- Past and future activities related to the given company
For step-by-step instructions on how to create or edit an Account please
As mentioned above, we have to capability to track the individual people that we work with as well within Dynamics 365, these records are called contacts. Tracking Contacts in Dynamics 365 allows us to capture critical information on the individuals we work with in a centralized database accessible to everyone else in the company in real-time. Examples of information we can store within the contact record includes:
- Details specific to the contact itself, including their: name, job title, phone number, email etc.
- The ability to track which company (account) they work for
- Information on when they were last contacted via a number of mediums such as phone calls, emails, faxes, etc.
- Sales opportunities they are the primary contact for
- Service cases they are the primary contact for
For step-by-step instructions on how to edit or create contacts in Dynamics 365, please
So far, the entities I have covered relate specifically to existing customers. Next, let’s discuss how we can manage prospects within Dynamics 365. One of the most common questions we get from brand new users of Dynamics 365 is “what is the difference between a Lead and an Opportunity within Dynamics 365?”. Think of Leads as sales engagements regarding a company and/or individual that you have limited knowledge on who they are, or what they are looking for. Within your sales process, this is the qualification step where you need to determine whether or not your solution is a possible fit to the customer’s need.
Within the Lead record, we have the ability to:
- Capture information about the individual you are working with such as their name, job title, contact information, company name, etc.
- Capture key information around the specific sales engagement, such as the purchase timeframe, the estimated budget, and any other notes gathered about the lead
- Qualify the Lead to an Opportunity which we can have automatically create an Account and Contact
- Define specific sales process qualification steps with business process flows
For step-by-step instructions on how to edit or create Leads in Dynamics 365, please
Opportunities represent a potential sale that has either been qualified from a lead or from an existing customer. Tracking your opportunities in Dynamics 365 allow you to manage your individual sales pipeline, while simultaneously providing management with the overall sales pipeline for the entire organization.
Within an opportunity record you can track numerous pieces of information such as:
- The customer and primary contact related to the opportunity
- Which phase within the sales pipeline the opportunity resides
- Estimated Revenue and close date of the opportunity
- Key stakeholders and sales team members
- Products/line items that make up the opportunity
- Generate quotes that automatically pull information directly from the existing opportunity
- Track competitors
- Close opportunities as won or lost and create actionable sales data
- Specific activities (Emails, phone calls, tasks, etc.) related to the opportunity
For step-by-step instructions on how to edit or create Opportunities in Dynamics 365, please
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, this is just scratching the surface of the capabilities of the sales module. In future blog entries, I will expand on the additional functionality of the sales module including: Products, Quotes, Orders, Invoices, Goals, and more.
As it has always been with Microsoft Dynamics CRM, in Microsoft Dynamics 365 you still have the ability to configure all of the out of the box entities, as well create new ones to fit your specific business needs. Need help with this or anything covered in this blog? Feel free to
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